How to set sexual boundaries

Bryana Lozoya, Reporter

There are rules and boundaries in place for every kind of relationship, ranging from student-teacher to parent-child. So, having boundaries for a sexual relationship is a no-brainer, but how does one go about setting them and sticking to it? Where does one start?

What is most important is knowing your comfort level and your wants out of a sexual relationship.

Take the time to reflect on what you want. Mull over how certain activities would make you feel if you were doing them. Does such-and-such sound like something you would want to do? You can write them down as a reminder if you’d like.

Know your soft limits, those are things that you are unsure of or things that are “take it or leave it.” These are also something that can be negotiated if you choose to.

Evaluate what your hard limits would be, these are things you refuse to do. There is no room for anyone to convince or negotiate you into doing them.

For example, a soft limit of mine is anal sex and a hard limit for me would be rimming. I refuse to do that and I will not let anyone’s face near my butt in that manner. I know that kind of thing makes me uncomfortable; just thinking about it makes me queasy.

Another important thing to know when making boundaries is who they are for and what kind of relationship you have with them.

Are they boundaries for a committed monogamous relationship? What about an open or swinging relationship? Are they for a one-night stand? Or are they for a friend with benefits?

Each type of sexual relationship may have different boundaries, rules, and restrictions. It is important to know how you want that relationship to be like.

Personally, I tend to avoid one-night stands because most end up disappointing anyways. I also don’t do friends with benefits, I could care less for it.

However, when it comes to a committed monogamous relationship I’d like to have my partner and myself go through the necessary precautions before being intimate. I’d want us to talk to each other about our previous sexual history, get tested for STD’s, talk with each other about the results, and then discuss what we expect out of the relationship.

I also find that having good friends you trust is beneficial in helping keep your ground. They can help remind you of the boundaries you set. They can help give you advice or warnings if they think you’re making a mistake or losing your resolve. It helps to have someone in your corner.

Practicing out loud by saying your boundaries to yourself or to a friend can be helpful if you feel self-conscious about having to say them to the person you’re considering becoming sexual with.

I know this is something I still need to work on because I am terribly self-conscious when it comes to telling people what I want.

I prefer telling them in writing. It can be a reminder both for yourself and for the people involved and is something that can be edited if need be.

There is nothing wrong with writing them down, but having verbal communication is better. There needs to be back and forth dialog to ensure everyone is on the same page or work out the kinks to get everyone on the same page.